About Us

Our Mission is to preserve the biodiversity of the Coastal Plain of the southeastern United States. We accomplish our mission in three ways. The first is through conducting biological research to generate new knowledge about Southeastern ecosystems, with emphasis on the longleaf pine ecosystem and its embedded temporary wetlands. Second, CPI provides environmental education opportunities to the general public through field trips, classroom visits, festivals, lectures, website, and social media. Third, we acquire lands and directly manage or restore them back to native, natural habitat.

Our People

Ryan Means – President.  He holds a B.S. in zoology and a M.S. degree in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, both from the University of Florida.   Ryan’s professional interests have always been within the longleaf pine ecosystem–notably working to save imperiled amphibians and plants, and guiding human beings into this rich environment for education and rejuvenation. Ryan is the founder and principal investigator of the striped newt repatriation project in the Apalachicola National Forest, FL.   This is a unique salamander conservation effort that includes many partners united in a common goal to repatriate an extirpated species back into its former geographic stronghold and move it away from the brink of extinction.  Ryan’s CV for more information.

Rebecca Means – Director.  Rebecca has a B.S. degree in both Wildlife Ecology and in Biology from Virginia Tech and an M.S. degree in Forestry from Texas A&M. She began working with CPI in August of 2001. Since that time she has been the principle or co-principle investigator on seven projects relating to ephemeral wetlands, amphibians, and science education.  Her current focus is on a program she developed entitled Building Communities that Conserve Wetlands.  This program combines experiential learning and citizen science research to conserve the biodiversity of temporary wetlands of Northern Florida.  She also is co-investigator on the striped newt repatriation project. See Rebecca’s CV for more information.

Board of Trustees

President – Ryan Means

Trustee – W. Wilson Baker

Trustee – Tom Ostertag

D. Bruce Means, Ph.D. – Founder and President Emeritus.  He also is a research ecologist, author, consultant, world traveler, and Adjunct Professor Biological Science at Florida State University.  His research includes a wide variety of topics ranging from ecosystems of the southeastern U. S. to fire ecology, the natural history of South American tepuis, biogeography, conservation, endangered species, and the evolution and natural history of amphibians and reptiles.  For more about D. Bruce Means, including contact info, click here.